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  1. Dec. 13- State Railways of Thailand (SRT) received 17 ex-JR Hokkaido kiha 183 units at the port of Laem Chabang. The intention is to refurbish these units for chartered tourist train service. ANN report:
  2. A very fine front view video by HKASAMA, this is KIKUHA 32-502 and an unknown KIHA 185, possibly KIRO 185-26. RO would mean it has green class seating. There are two KIKUHA 32 cars, 501 and 502. They were new builds(?) by Niigata Engineering in 1997 and 2003, respectively. Whether or not the trucks, etc came from retired KIHA 32s, I can't exactly tell. The KIHA 32s themselves are interesting budget minded DMUs, at least in that they entered service in the last 3 weeks of JNR. My understanding is that the KIKUHA designation includes KI not because they have diesels (they're not powered) but because they're meant to be attached to a DMU. One site includes the word 付随気動車 fuzui kidousha. 気動車 is kidousha, a railcar with an internal combustion engine, the source of KI in KIHA. 付随 fuzui means attached, accompanying, etc. I don't recall seeing this before and I don't know if it's a standard term or just what that page's author calls it. I crossed this bridge many times, usually on the Marine Liner using a Seishun 18 ticket. Seto Ohashi Line is I guess a marketing name, but there are formal names for different parts of it, explained on this wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seto-Ōhashi_Line Points of interest: :15 - Kojima Station, Kurashiki City, Okayama 4:30 - beginning of Great Seto Bridge 18:20 - divergence of tracks, straight is southwest on to Utazu, the ramps turn east to Sakaide/Takamatsu 20:25 - Utazu Station, Town of Utazu (Kagawa Prefecture from here on) 24:50 - Marugame Station, Marugame City 30:35 - Tadotsu Station, Town of Tadotsu 35:35 - Dosan Line diverges from Yosan Line 41:10 - Zentsuji Station, Zentsuji City 49:15 - Kotohira Station, Town of Kotohira Google map centered on junction of Seto Ohashi Line and Yosan Line: https://www.google.com/maps/@34.3157152,133.8220375,17z Bonus: KIKUHA32-501 in its excellent Ao Yoshinogawa Torokko livery. Hi res image suitable for desktop wallpaper: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/ファイル:藍よしのがわトロッコ.jpg
  3. Alongside the new Shinkansen test train, JR East has announced the KiHa E130-500 for use on the Hachinohe Line. The first units of these will be delivered in August this year, out of a total 18 cars having been ordered. (Source: http://railf.jp/news/2017/07/04/165500.html) JR East has also announced a prototype of 3 vehicles of the GV-E400 series, a diesel-electric (?) multiple unit train. The mass-production units of this series will be introduced on the Uetsu Main Line, Shin'etsu Main Line, Yonesaka Line and Ban'etsu West Line in the Niigata region in 2019. In 2020 they will be introduced on the Tsugaru Line, Gono Line and Ou Main Line in the Akita region. (Source: http://railf.jp/news/2017/07/04/170000.html)
  4. Some fresh electrons from Railfan News: by the end of 2019, JR Central will have a hybrid 4-car test formation. This will be a 4-car limited express type, which, if all goes well, will replace the KIHA85 someday. The KIHA85 is currently used on the Hida and Nanki services. JRC intends this to be the first Japanese hybrid to have an operational top speed of 120km/h. As I understand the article, batteries will be charged by both a diesel with alternator as well as regenerative braking. EMU-style traction motors will draw power from those batteries to propel the cars. This will reduce both cost and maintenance time. There will be only one engine per car, it will be silent during station stops, and this drive system lacks a gearbox, all contributing to an improvement in passenger comfort. Also, this type is expected to use 15% less fuel. If all goes well during one year of testing this prototype formation, endurance testing will begin (I'm not sure if this means revenue service or not). Following that, production cars could be manufactured in 2022. http://railf.jp/news/2017/06/08/090000.html
  5. Nice video of the South Hokkaido Railway
  6. Interesting video of this stretch of track. Not the use of gauntlet tracks to prevent freight trains from impacting the high platform stations. No. California hills are quite green from the heavy rains of the past season.
  7. Replacement for aging kiha 40 used on most rural lines. Will be based on the JR East GV-E400 but winterized for Hokkaido conditions. A pair of test prototypes will be introduced by February 2018, with a one year trial period thereon. JR Hokkaido press release: http://www.jrhokkaido.co.jp/press/2017/170712-2.pdf
  8. Here's one from the Japanese rail news feeds: a new KIHA40 refurb to be operated on the far western sections of the San'in Line. I first thought it was just a wrap, but then I noticed the non-JNR interior :). The trafficnews.jp article mentions that this is the successor to the Misuzu Shiosai; I don't understand if they mean that in spirit, because that service ceased in late January and this one will begin in September, or if these are the same 2 cars. The name has (what I assume are considered) punctuation in it, and it would be read Maru Maru no Hanashi. I believe it's a play on words and I'll leave a proper translation to someone else. Anyway, in this case hanashi is not 'talk' or 'discussion' but a sort of acronym for Hagi, Nagato, and Shimonoseki, where the train will operate. http://railf.jp/news/2017/06/01/160000.html https://trafficnews.jp/post/72013/
  9. Hello all, Yesterday, 19/05, the UK's oldest passenger diesel multiple units retired. Chiltern Railways had been running 2 class 121 dmu's on the Princes Risborough to Aylesbury line at peak times. These railcars date from the late 1950's, and were the UK's only vacuum braked trains to run on the national network. I took a ride on the nearly 60 year old train a few days back.
  10. JR Hokkaido's new KIHA285, from Higashi-Yodogawa to Ohmi-Shiotsu, courtesy of Masaharu Aono.
  11. Kabutoni

    Kanto Railway

    This is a strange and fabulous company that deserves its own topic. It's a railway line that is not covered much by fans, as it's quite remote and relatively expensive to travel on. That is, if you're not looking beyond your own field of perception. More on that later. The Kantō Railway (関東鉄道) is owned by the Keisei Group and operates two lines. Both are fully dieselised and are operated with 3-door DMU. - One is the very short Ryūgasaki line (4,5km), starting at Sanuki on the JR Jōban line and ending in Ryūgasaki in the sticks. It's a very charming line that runs through the fields and only has three diesel cars in operation. Two of them are new types (no. 2001 and 2002), of which one only runs on Sunday with a special promotional livery. And the third one is an older type (no. 532), based on a modified JNR KiHa 20, which occasionally runs in the weekends. - The second one is the Jōsō line from Toride, also strarting on the JR Jōban line (far end of the 1500V DC area) and ending in Shimodate on the JR Mito line (20kV AC 50Hz area). There the Mooka Railway (famous for its C11 and C12 steam trains in the weekend) also has its starting point. There are day passes in the weekend for ¥1500 which can be used to travel the whole of the Jōsō line. It's kind of a strange pass, since it allows you to travel for less than the entire line in one go! From Toride to Shimodate it costs ¥1510 and it's only one way, whereas the day ticket allows you to travel as much as you like the whole day. So, I did. That day, I also obtained a free to use rental bicycle at Mitsukaidō station (水海道) and rode to the line's car shed to snap pictures of the rolling stock that rarely runs nowadays. It looks like they're saving some up for a museum of some sort. They certainly have the space for it as opposed to other railway companies! Rental cycles could only be obtained with a valid drivers licence or a valid health insurance card. Basically something that states your place of residence in Japan, so for foreign tourists they may decline this request. Also, Tobanoe station (騰波ノ江) celebrated it's 88th birthday this weekend, so I paid them a visit after traveling the network. It was very small, but they did have a small N gauge layout and a respectable H0 layout that reflected the Jōsō line network. I also was asked to draw a picture on a glass that would be used for a candle for later that day. I didn't stay that long though, as we had to get up early in the morning and drive back to our place in Kanagawa. We exchanged business cards and had a little chat. It was a very warm and cosy event. Jōsō line: Ryūgasaki line: The Kantō Railway certainly has left a deep impression on me. Especially, the Jōsō line is a very interesting line, as it's halfway double tracked and fully dieselised with 3-door trains that remind of the commuter trains of the metropolitan lines. The reason this is like it is, is because the line runs through two different national electricity networks (or whatever it's called). Basically, it would be hugely expensive to electrify the line and buy rolling stock that can operate on both 1500V DC and 20kV AC 50Hz. The line also runs through rural areas only, so this would probably be a moot investment. At least for now. As the Tōkyō metropolitan area keeps expanding, I wouldn't be surprised to see this line being electrified within the next 30 years, or maybe even be connected to the Tsukuba Express for that matter... It's a fantasy though. It would certainly be beneficial to a lot of towns along the line to have a fast connection to Tōkyō methinks. You never know what the future might bring and what Keisei Group comes up with now! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the shoddy pictures and I hope the Kantō railway has also gained your hearts and minds a little bit. I will certainly travel this line again when I'm back in Shimodate!
  12. http://asia.nikkei.com/Japan-Update/Japan-rail-car-builders-rolling-out-next-gen-diesel-trains
  13. Railfan Magazine News has an article about the third sector company that will take over JR Hokkaido's Esashi Line (the portion that JRH themselves didn't shut down, anyway). The English name will be South Hokkaido Railway Company, and the line will be renamed the Isaribi Line. The company's Japanese name will be Dōnan Isaribi Tetsudō. According to the Wikipedia article, they'll run 9 KIHA40s. I think all will be transferred from JRH, but only 2 will get the livery and interior treatment shown in the links below. They'll be nicknamed Nagamare. The livery is a very dark blue or violet color, like the night sky, and there's an outline of Mt. Hakodate's silhouette and the stars of the night sky. Below the silhouette there are yellow and orange dots representing town lights of southern Hokkaido as well as gyoka, lights used to lure fish during nighttime fishing. The interior will feature refurbished seats with headrests, and ekiben tables will be added made of south Hokkaido cedar. These cars will run on both chartered and regularly scheduled services. Tetsudo News: http://railf.jp/news/2016/02/05/140000.html English Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Hokkaido_Railway_Company Company homepage in Japanese: http://www.shr-isaribi.jp/ Company page with same rendering of exterior as well as an interior rendering: http://www.shr-isaribi.jp/info/622/
  14. Echigo Tokimeki Railway has received two more ET122 DMUs, designated as 1000 subseries. The eight 0 subseries ET122s that they already operate are nearly the same as JR West KIHA122s, which are run on the eastern portion of the Kishin Line in Hyogo prefecture. http://railf.jp/news/2016/03/25/150000.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ET122
  15. Happy 2016 everyone! Old news now, but Kyoto Tango Railway, known as Kitakinki Tango Railway before the operational takeover by Willer Bus, has refurbished one of its KTR8000 series express DMU sets with styling by the one and only Mitooka Eiji. This follows the refurb of 4 (I think) of the KTR700 local DMUs. Service began November 13th. Includes the Alfa Romeo style grill/emblem/ornament from DF200-7000 (btw off topic but did anyone else know that JR Kyushu numbered this thing 7000 not 7001?) http://trains.willer.co.jp/index.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwomLGBjpnA
  16. Interesting drone views. Very Northern Californian suburban scenes.
  17. Another KIHA40-based (KIHA40 2027) excursion train has emerged from JR West's Matto shop. Called the Belles Montagnes et Mer (Berumonta in Japanese), it will run on the Johana and Himi Lines. Great livery on this one... http://railf.jp/news/2015/09/11/153000.html http://rail.hobidas.com/rmn/archives/2015/09/jr_2024.html No suitable YouTube material yet, there must be a lack of railfans up in Hokuriku.
  18. Yet another KIHA40-based joyful train, looks quite good although I think my favorite is still JR Shikoku's Iyonada Monogatari. This is the Hanayome Noren, intended for limited express sightseeing service on the Nanao Line, which will begin October 3rd. The livery is meant to look like the lacquerware from Wajima, a city on the northwest side of the Noto Peninsula. http://railf.jp/news/2015/08/27/100000.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanao_Line http://www.samurai-japan.biz/other/af_wajima/ http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/8898-jr-shikoku-kiro47-iyo-nada-monogatari/ good video of August 23rd open day at Kanazawa Depot, this train is featured at 6:00: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8Ba9NuVj_w
  19. JR Hokkaido announced on Wednesday, June 10 that it is going to jointly develop a new DMU railcar design for cold region climates with JR East. The aim is to cut development and production costs. Features will be: -diesel electric drive -driving cabs on both ends, for single car, driver only operation -barrier free facilities i.e. wheelchair space and accessible toilets -air conditioning JR Hokkaido will order 100 units to replace the 140 aging kiha 40 DMU's currently in service. JR East will order 63 units. Two test units will be ready by 2017 for JR Hokkaido, with units entering in service in 2019. According to Nikkei, JR East will start using them earlier in revenue service in 2017. http://www.jrhokkaido.co.jp/press/2015/150610-2.pdf http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXLASDZ10HNY_Q5A610C1TI5000/
  20. replete with video. yikes http://www.2427junction.com/mmrrbej81.html
  21. bikkuri bahn

    Union Pearson Express debuts

    Airport access line in Toronto. This past Saturday, June 6. Nippon Sharyo built, powered by Cummins.
  22. JR East announced Tuesday (May 19) that they are looking to replace dmu rolling stock with new types in the Niigata and Akita areas, starting in 2017, and continuing through 2020. The requirement is for 19 single railcars and 22 two-car units, for a total of 63 railcars. The design will use diesel-electric propulsion, rather than the standard up to now of diesel-hydraulic drive. The units will replace the aging kiha 40, 47, and 48 types. In addition to domestic builders, JR East is soliciting foreign makers to participate in the process, as they have done for the Hachinohe Line rolling stock replacement program. This order for 63 railcars is included in a greater plan by JR East to procure 150 to 250 new railcars of the diesel-electric type. http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2015/05/19/418/ JR East English procurement info: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/data/procurement/pdf/20150519_e_procurement.pdf
  23. Another JR East hybrid DMU emerges, looks like the same body as the E129: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HB-E210_C1_C2_Zushi_20150113.JPG http://railf.jp/news/2015/01/17/171000.html
  24. Not really news anymore, but on Ompuchaneru I just noticed this pdf (dated March 27th) from JR Central: http://jr-central.co.jp/news/release/_pdf/000021810.pdf In the zairai line section, there's news about more 313 series EMUs and KIHA25 series DMUs, which look exactly like 313s. Electrification of the Taketoyo Line should be complete in spring of next year, and service will be operated by EMUs starting in June according to English Wikipedia. 28 new 313s will be built this year in preparation for this. On the DMU side of things, only 5 2-car sets of KIHA25s have been built, but they're getting 52 more, 16 this year and the remaining 36 next year. These will replace KIHA40s, of which JRC has 59, according to both English and Japanese Wikipedias. So, either 7 KIHA40s are safe or they're reducing numbers a bit. KIHA11s are post-privatization (1988), so if what I read is correct, they're safe. I've read that over the long term, electrics are cheaper to operate than diesels. Assuming that's true, I often wonder why there isn't more electrification when significantly large fleets of DMUs are ready for retirement. If electricity is more expensive in the last 3 years, surely that isn't expected to be permanent, and you can't depend on the cost of diesel fuel anyway.
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